|Bahrain's must-see attractions|
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F1 Grand Prix Circuit
Feed your need for speed. Even if you’re not a motor-race fan, you’ll be caught up in the thrill and excitement of the planet’s biggest race event: Formula One. Bahrain has become part of the annual F1 programme, with tens of thousands of visitors descending on Bahrain each year at race time. Besides the Grand Prix itself at Bahrain International Circuit, dozens of other events are held, from exhibitions and banquets to shows and glittering receptions.
Sakhir Race Course
Watch Arabian track stars in action. Arabian horses are among the world’s most prized breeds, and a day at the Sakhir race course explains why they’re so highly rated. Horses gallop off every Friday from October to March and usually attract 3,000-5,000 fans. Call 1744 0330 for race schedules and timings.
Take the plunge, find a pearl. Bahrain’s shallow waters and warm climate make it perfect for recreational diving. A number of clubs cater for both experienced and novice divers. Aqua Hobbies (1729 3231) and Aquatique (1727 1780) both have courses to promote pearl diving. In addition to searching for pearls, you also get a chance to see up to 30 types of coral and more than 200 species of fish.
Now here’s a school all kids will love. Dolphin spotting is a fun trip for the whole family with Bahrain Yacht Club taking enthusiastic passengers out for a ride three times daily: 10am, noon and 2pm. The area of the sea where the boat goes is usually where schools of dolphins play and seem to be quite accustomed to people visiting their territory.
Pass the shisha. Bahrain’s inner lanes are dotted with coffee houses where locals like to unwind after a day’s work. It’s an opportunity for friends to meet, play dominoes, sip endless cups of coffee or simply sit on rustic wooden benches and puff on the hubbly-bubbly which is locally referred to as shisha. Shops usually have a variety of tobaccos to choose from.
Humpbacks at home. If your only contact with camels has been at a zoo or on television, you’ll enjoy a visit to the camel farm in Janabiya. Get your camera ready as a hundred or so camels race in for the evening feed after grazing all day. Or pose with them if you wish. They’re usually very friendly.
King Fahad Causeway
Bridging an international gap. The 25-km-long King Fahad Causeway, built at a cost of $1 billion, links Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and is one of the world’s longest bridges between two countries. The completion of construction in 1986 ended the 25,000-year separation of the two nations as geologists say Bahrain was once part of the mainland. Most visitors need a visa to actually enter Saudi Arabia but don’t let that stop you from driving to the midpoint on the causeway, and enjoying the glorious view across both countries from the restaurant tower.
Shaikh Isa Causeway
Connecting two worlds. Distinguished by its two large ‘sails’, the Shaikh Isa bin Salman Causeway, built in 1998, is the primary bridge between bustling Manama and old-world Muharraq. The causeway reflects both the beauty of modern local architecture and the advanced nature of Bahrain’s network of roads, highways and bridges that makes travelling around the country so quick and convenient.
Sunsets in Bahrain
Sit back, relax, enjoy. There’s something extraordinarily beautiful about sunsets in Bahrain. No two evenings seem exactly the same, and even the setting where you choose to enjoy watching the sun go down can make a difference. Some of the nicest vantage points are at Muharraq, across the waters from Manama; and on any of the beaches like Jarada or Southern Beach.